Motorbase Performance enjoyed an ‘interesting return’ to the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) paddock at Snetterton according to Team Manager Oly Collins, who oversaw a trio of points finishes for Mat Jackson.
Having opted to sit out the first half of the season for budgetary reasons, Motorbase returned to BTCC action in time for the second half of the season.
With the team running the all-new Mountune engine for the first time, the weekend would prove to be significant for the team and its partners.
In addition, as a result of their late entry into the season, both cars of Mat Jackson and James Cole had to carry an additional 45 kg of ballast.
Jackson scored the team’s most consistent results of the weekend, taking 12th in the opening race before breaking into the top ten with eighth and sixth in the following races.
Cole had a more difficult weekend, scoring points only in race two with 11th, having missed out on the points in the first race. Contact from Mike Bushell and Hunter Abbott in race three caused damage to his suspension and forced his retirement from the race.
Team Manager Oly Collins called it “an interesting weekend” and stressed the importance for the team to return to the race track in order to move forwards.
“It’s been an interesting return to the paddock for us this weekend,” said Collins. “I think the team has done a great job considering we’ve been away for the first half of the season. There’s no substitute for racing so the results are probably not what we hoped for but it’s a good start especially as we’ve been carrying ballast all weekend.
“We’ve moved forward in all three races and both Mat and James drove well; it’s just a shame for James that he was forced out of race three as a result of some dubious driving standards.
“Overall we’ve enjoyed our return to the BTCC; compliments to the team and to Mountune for great reliability in all the testing sessions and also during all three races this weekend. We can now focus our efforts on claiming some silverware at Knockhill.”
Jackson was pleased that the car was shown to be on the pace, despite qualifying in 14th position for the first race.
“We came into the weekend with a car that was quick, we did FP1 and the car showed it was on the pace,” said the former championship runner-up. “We then made some small changes and I think it’s fair to say that we didn’t regain the ground until race two. Qualifying and race one were hard battles then during race two and race three we got the car back to where it needs to be.
“I think having being out of it for the first half of the season we are on the back foot in terms of development so the data we’ve gathered this weekend is invaluable. To get a P6 with 45 kg of ballast on-board whilst racing the new engine for the first time is mega and a great result for the team.”
Despite only scoring points in one race, Cole revealed he was happy with his weekend, with his race two finish being his best to-date in the BTCC.
“I’m happy with how we finished the weekend,” said Cole. “It’s much better than we expected at the start of the day – we’ve come on leaps and bounds with the car. I’ve also achieved my highest position finish which we didn’t expect from 23rd on the grid; to make that many places up is fantastic and a great job by the team.
“My pace was getting closer to Mat over the day; it’s just a shame that race three ended as it did through no fault of my own when we were looking good for a top ten finish.”